Charity stalwart's proud silver service
PUBLISHED: 15:35 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:13 12 August 2010
AN 84-YEAR-OLD war veteran who has raised more than £100,000 for former soldiers has been given a prestigious award. Ted Roberts, of Bromley Hill,
AN 84-YEAR-OLD war veteran who has raised more than £100,000 for former soldiers has been given a prestigious award.
Ted Roberts, of Bromley Hill, was handed the Silver Cross of St George at a ceremony attended by shadow home secretary William Hague and Bromley Mayor Douglas Auld last Thursday.
The event, organised by This England magazine took place at the Cabinet War Rooms in central London.
Speaking before the presentation, he said: "It's all a bit bewildering. It happened all of a sudden, I can't believe it. It's fantastic. This is a job that I like doing anyway. People ask me why I continue to raise all this money and the answer is that I like people."
Mr Roberts was wounded at Normandy, 65 years ago, and has made an annual pilgrimage back there for the past six years, including recently attending the 65th D-Day anniversary ceremony where he was honoured with the Normandy Bar along with other invasion veterans.
He has also been formally recognised by The Royal Family for his single-handed fundraising efforts during the past decade for charities, including the Not Forgotten Association and the London Taxi Drivers' Benevolent Fund, which benefits war disabled veterans.
Upon receiving the award from This England editor Stephen Garnett, Mr Roberts said: "Anyone who has looked in to the glazed eyes of a dying soldier on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war. I ask all politicians who ask us to remember veterans to heed these words."
Shadow Home Secretary William Hague commended the grandfather-of-two, adding: "Congratulations on raising such a huge amount of money. More than £100,000 is a staggering achievement in the lifetime of any individual."
Mr Roberts landed on Gold beach two days after his 19th birthday but was badly wounded on July 19, 1944 and sent home.
After leaving the army in 1947, he went in to the furniture trade and has lived in Bromley for more than 50 years. He frequently visits Bromley's schools to tell youngsters about the Normandy landings.
The Silver Cross of St George Award was introduced in 1982, and is awarded to ordinary people who live extraordinary lives through charity work, community work, as carers, or helping to preserve English Heritage.